Pakistan's Punjab Demands Rs 1 Billion from Federal Government to Run JuD, FIF Properties: Official
1 Billion (Image: Getty)

Lahore, May 31: Pakistan's Punjab province government has sought a grant of one billion rupees from the Federal Finance Ministry for running over 200 properties of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, seized during a crackdown on the two organisations of the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a provincial official said today.

The federal government had, in February, started confiscating the properties of Saeed's banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity arm Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) across the country during a crackdown on the two organisations, in line with the UN Security Council sanctions list.

In a letter to the Federal Finance Ministry, the Punjab government, which claims to have taken over 200 properties - including offices, schools, dispensaries and ambulance service - of the JuD and the FIF, expressed its inability to bear the expenses of running them and demanded immediate release of at least Rs 1 billion for the purpose in the financial year (2018-19), a provincial officer told PTI.

"Since the Federal government had not allocated any amount in this year's budget to run the JuD and FIF properties, taken over by the Punjab government, it has written to the federal finance ministry informing that it needs at least Rs 1 billion for the financial year (2018-19) for the purpose," he said.

"Only for Gujranwala division, that houses more than 50 properties of the JuD and the FIF, including JuD's Muridke headquarters (about 40-km from Lahore) an amount of-of Rs 370 million is required annually to run them," he said.

A Senate committee, in March, had disclosed that 148 properties of the two entities linked to Saeed had been taken over in nine out of 10 divisions of Punjab.

The assets of the medical wings of the two groups were to be taken over by Pakistan Red Crescent Society. The federal government has barred companies and individuals from giving donations to the JuD, the FIF and other organisations on the UN Security Council sanctions list.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan issued a notification to all companies, prohibiting them from donating money to the entities and individuals listed under the UNSC sanctions committee's consolidated list. But despite properties being taken over, the JuD and FIF activists are allowed to use them, especially JuD headquarters in Lahore and Muridke.